Labour peer and Patron of Humanists UK
Born in 1942 and educated at the University of Edinburgh, George Foulkes worked for Enterprise Youth and Age Concern Scotland before becoming an Edinburgh councillor. He was elected Labour and Co-operative MP for South Ayrshire in the 1979 general election, and after the constituency’s abolition, he was elected MP for the new constituency of Carrick, Cumnock and DoonValley in the 1983 general election. As an MP he was Opposition spokesman on European and Community Affairs (1984-1985), on foreign affairs (1985-1992), on defence (1992-1993) and on overseas development (1994-1997). He was Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of International Development (1997-2001) and Minister of State, Scotland Office (2001-2002). As an MP, Foulkes introduced the first-ever proposals for a smoking ban in public places in 1982 and legislation against age discrimination in 1985, both through private member’s bills.
He entered the House of Lords on 28 June 2005 and until May 2011 he was a member of both the Lords and the Scottish Parliament but he did not seek re-election to the Scottish Parliament in the 2011 Scottish Parliament election
On 15 September 2010, Foulkes, along with 54 other public figures, signed an open letter published in The Guardian, stating their opposition to Pope Benedict XVI’s state visit to the UK.